By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor, with agency reports
Former president, Olusegun Obasanjo has enjoined Nigerians not to die for a mediocre in their search of a leader to run the country.
Obasanjo who spoke in London, at the launch of his book, My Watch, was however less than enthusiastic in his earlier endorsement on Tuesday of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Gen Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), given in Nairobi Kenya.
The book, My Watch, which is the chronicle of Obasanjo’s years in the presidency, is banned in Nigeria pending judicial adjudication on a libel suit brought by a chieftain of People Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Buruji Kashamu.
The former president as however taken to international circuit to promote the book, with the launc first in Nairobi, where he endorsed Buhari for the presidency.
He told the Financial Times in London, “The circumstances he (Buhari), will be working under if he wins election are different from the one he worked under before where he was both the executive and the legislature-he knows that. He is smart enough. He is educated enough. He is experienced enough, why shouldn’t I support him?”
At the London launch on Wednesday night, the former president was however more circumspect, saying “What I said… I will say it again and I will do it. When the time comes for me to vote, I will consider the track record of all the candidates that are contesting and I will assess them. Then, based on my assessment for who I believe have the best track record to perform the job of the Nigerian president, then he will have my vote and if anybody should know what the job of the Nigerian president requires, I should know.
He was nevertheless still dismissive in the assessment of the work of the incumbent president, Goodluck Jonathan, whose political career he helped fast-track from deputy-governor in 2005 to vice-president in 2007 and then backed for the presidency in 2011.
Obasanjo has always attacked Dr. Jonathan’s second term bid warned.
“And there is no sentiment in the affairs of Nigeria. Nigeria is a population of 180 million and you wouldn’t have anybody other than one person or two persons that can run the affairs of Nigeria? What the hell are we talking about? For me there are millions who can run the affairs of Nigeria that are not even coming out.
“So why should you die on behalf of one who is probably performing as a mediocre.With all due respect. if you love Nigeria, you would look for the best for her and I don’t believe that at this point in time, we have the best” he said